Banking equities hold on to strong gains

The strong increases in the share prices of Bank of Valletta plc, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc yesterday were maintained this morning with substantial trading activity again taking place in BOV shares. Further to the 4.6% rise registered yesterday, the MSE Share Index today edged minimally higher to 3,529.016 points on gains in Lombard Bank and MaltaPost plc.

BOV’s 10.5% gain registered yesterday was largely maintained this morning as the share price closed minimally lower at €3.699. Trading activity remained high with almost 60,000 shares exchanged today across 49 deals. Investors have until next Friday to gain entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.16 per share. Meanwhile a bonus share issue of 1 new shares for every 5 held will be eligible to those shareholders as at close of trading on 7 January 2011.

HSBC recovered from an intra-day low of €2.95 to close unchanged at the €3.00 level on lower volumes of 4,160 shares while Lombard Bank continued to build on yesterday’s 10% rise as its share price edged a further 0.7% higher today to regain the €2.77 level on a single trade of 400 shares.

GO plc closed unchanged despite yesterday’s Interim Directors’ Statement revealing a further improvement in profitability during the third quarter. The equity initially dipped to €1.83 but recovered towards the end of the day to close unchanged at the €1.87 level.

Elsewhere in the market, International Hotel Investments plc traded unchanged at the €0.78 level on volumes of over 10,000 shares whilst MaltaPost plc inched minimally higher to €0.911 on a single transaction of 2,115 shares.

Loqus Holdings plc was active for the first time in over a month. A single trade of 1,424 shares was transacted at the €0.18 level representing a 43.8% slump from the previous close. The Loqus Group still has to announce the date of the Board Meeting during which Directors have to consider and approve the full-year results for the financial year ended 30 June 2010.

Malta Government Stock prices improved for the second time this week as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield continued to weaken to the 2.45% level. Over the past two days the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) edged 21 basis points higher to regain the 102% level.

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